Peace and quiet was all that Head Auror Harry Potter wished for him and his family. His friends and acquaintances can all agree on that.
Harry Potter needed a break.
Of course, fate and the wizarding troubles will never give him the satisfaction. Even after nearly thirty years he had been appointed as the Head Auror, there are still rogue wizards and witches out there in the world raising trouble. Even though there had been a total of five budding "Dark Lords", remnant ex-Death Eaters of Voldemort with an ambition for power and violence attempting to "carry on his master's legacy" , the wizarding world had experienced a period of peace and development that had never been seen before.
Part of this of course should be credited to the Minister for Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt. Under his wisdom and foresight, the filth and corruption within the Ministry had largely been cut out from its root. Pure-blood fanatics had mostly been eradicated under the new social policies and freedom while most schools now promote the openness of the mind and ideas.
Harry had thought that Hermione Granger would be an inventor, given her genius-like affinity for magic and learning. On hindsight though, it should have been quite obvious that she became a politician instead. Rising up through the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, she had fought for equality for all races, magical creatures that are sentient and the freedom for House Elves. In these years, it is not a rare sight to see a goblin walking side by side next to a wizard to a candy shop without anyone batting an eye.
During the speech she made as the new law was passed, she had said, "Muggles, wizards, goblins, centaurs, house elves, we are all just people with equal rights. It is a joy to see that they have the respect they rightfully should have!" Her speech was met with equal enthusiasm from all races, save the Muggles. Unfortunately, they are still under the Statue of Secrecy. For the best of the public, the existence of magic should still remain undisclosed. After all, not everyone are as peace loving as she is.
As his second in command, Ronald Weasley had become a fearsome duelist and investigator. His insight with tactics and his considerable knowledge with combat magic had saved many lives through out the years. It was worth mentioning that despite the Weasley family tendency to raise their boys to become tall and lanky, Ron had somehow grown to become a giant of a man. Even though he was not as tall as Hagrid (if he was, Harry would think that he might have some form of giant ancestry in his blood. A morbid part of mind noted given the families reputation for... extreme open-mindedness ), his height still dwarfed many other witches and wizards. The once awkward, hairless face now grew a majestic red mane of hair, giving him the appearance of a regal lion.
He had once entered a wizarding competition of Wizard Chess, and was hereby banned from entering it ever again for the judges decide that pitting any other wizard and witches against him would be grievously unfair to them, as Ron had clean-sweeped the entire competition, no challenger ever lasted more then fifteen minutes against him. As he left the stadium amidst the roaring crowd and adoring masses, he snorted to Harry, "No wonder why we beat Voldemort so easily. The wizarding folks are idiots, Hermione was right all along."
Ginny and Harry married just two years after the battle, when they finished the rest of their formal education, followed by Hermione and Ron three years later.
And now, their children have married and grown up, starting families of their own. At the age of fifty six, in the year of 2037, Harry decided that he was ready for retirement.
A long due retirement that he believed he earned rightfully.
It was lucky that in the advance of science and technology, the Muggles never blew themselves up or caused a world war three, or made the earth inhabitable, even if it came close to do so several times. London was bombed several times, several countries in Africa and Europe disappeared and was assimilated, and quite a few cities were submerged under water until the Muggles decided on solving this problem. The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures had one hell of a time trying to convince the Merpeople to return to the ocean and stop stealing the muggles belongings despite how fascinating muggle gadgets were to them. A certain dangerous class of called "electronics" had unfortunately claimed many curious Merpeople's life.
Harry supposed that he could have had a peaceful life as a celebrity, living in luxury instead of trying to downplay his achievements. Luxury that he had rightfully earned with his life. Taking down a dark lord before his twenties, taking down three before his thirties, five before even being fifty. That, can give him enough fame to not work for the rest of his life and still live in ease.
He had thought about quitting his Auror duty and going for a more relaxing career. After all, his age was already fifty six. His "retirement" would come quite soon. He planned to announce his decision after a discussion with his family. But first, he have a case to finish before leaving his duty to his successors.
However, Harry have a major issue. An issue that he knows for a fact, only he was afflicted with.
He haven't aged a day since the famed Battle of Hogwarts.
That, is a major problem. It seemed that he had somehow achieved immortality, right after he decided to sacrifices his own life for his friends.
He felt cheated, cheated in the sense that he was no longer allowed to age with his friends and family. Cheated of his right to die.
He was sure that this is not because of a spell or potion, not the affects of the Philosopher's Stone. It is something else, something mysterious. Endless life is not something that Harry wished for himself, not after he had accepted the fact that he will, and should die. He couldn't bear the fact that he will never grow old and will come to see everyone he ever knew die, leaving him alone.
He believe that it must have a connection to the mysterious amulet that appeared on him. An amulet in the form of the Deathly Hallows, the charm dangling on a cord of unbreakable silver. A dark opal sat in the middle of the diamond triangle, framed with silver. The middle vertical rod was of elder wood, patterned in the form of the elder wand. At first, Harry had tried to get rid of it in many ways. He does not need this power, these Hallows.
No fire, no curses, method can permanently get rid of the necklace. Throw it away and it will simply reappear on his neck again. Throw fiendfyre at it and you will discover that the amulet was hanging on your neck despite having clearly thrown it on the floor.
After years of trying, he had simply resigned to having to dangle it around his neck. It doesn't seem to be doing anything other than granting him an apparent immortality so far, so it shouldn't hurt to just let it stay there for the time being. After all, it couldn't be removed.
He knowed that he was still ageing, as the Age Line still worked, which means that it was his physical body which refused to tick by the clock. He still starve, which meant he was not frozen in time. He had spend almost all his free time researching on this issue, traveled around the world to look for other cases such as his in the guise of overboard study.
As far as he was concerned, he was the only one that ever achieved this form of "immortality".
To disguise himself, he invented a mixture of Polyjuice Potion and the Ageing Potion, carefully calculated to assume the guise of being older then his body is. He only needed to take the potion once a month and that was the best he can tweak the potion to be. He mused that he used to despise the potion subject from the bottom of his heart, partly because of Snape detestable attitude. He would be rolling in his grave now if he knew that Harry had a newfound appreciation for Potions.
He had never revealed this... curious fact about him, not even to his closest friends and family lest he attract unwanted attention from the media, saying that an old auror, fearing old age had sought immortality through Dark Arts. That cannot be allowed to happen.
This was a quite a large stain on his otherwise, almost perfect life.
Of course, he was not so idiotic as to try to suicide in order to prove his supposed immortally. It would be incredibly tragic if he actually died, not to mention ridiculously idiotic.
Harry snapped out of his reverie as he stood in front of the mirror. He wore a well tailored suit around his well muscled frame with a dark red robe above. Harry was not one for fashion, but he could still agree that the aurora combat robe was quite dashing. Even though he knew that the features on his face to not match what he truly is.
He checked his watch and almost dropped the cup of tea he was preparing to take a sip from. Its almost eleven thirty and yet he was still in the house, sipping tea like a proper British gentleman.
The Head Auror can not afford to be late!
He settled his cup of tea on the table, rose with haste as stomped out the door. At this time, he was the only one in the Potter Manor as his wife was staying over at Herimone's residence while his own children are away with their own family over the Summer Holiday. Old Grumpy, as his grand kids would call him, at which his own children, James, Albus and Lily betrayed him by agreeing on.
He rushed out the door, checking himself briefly to see if he had brought everything needed.
Wand, checked. Glasses, checked (not that he need needed them any more since he had them fixed with magic, its just because these glasses he owned are Enchanted in the way Moody's were ).
There goes his Auror kit.
He kicked the door shut behind him and apparated with a crack! He felt a pull behind his navel and was whisked away from the doorstep of Potter Manor.
He landed gracefully in the middle of a darkened room. Not that it was necessary to be dark, it was just that Ron delights in being dramatic to scare the other Aurors.
The room appeared to be part of an underground bunker, made of bricks and tiles. Dim Lumo-Lanterns hung from the ceiling, casting their yellowish glow around the room. A table stood in the centre of the room, laden with paper, maps and files of every kind. The room was filled with several other Aurors, saying two witches and fourwizards. They fell silent in respect as Harry made his appearance.
"Glad to see you are still on time, mate," Ron said, his massive frame blocking out the light. He had aged well, even being in "middle-age", he was still clearly more fit then anyone else in the room. He had trimmed his red beard slightly, his hair finally oiled back in a semblance of being tidy after being pestered by Hermione countless times. He too wore his red Auror robes, enchanted with prepared shield charms and several counter-curses.
Harry grimaced as he was forced look up his best friend's nostril, "Oh shut it, I was busy."
Ron chuckled as he said, "Great answer, very eloquent. Come on, we are about to get started."
Harry allowed himself to be led away to the table and meet his team. Ron introduce each character one by one. There were the two witches, Maggie and Samantha, Aurors that Harry had once worked with. The wizards were separately called Sean, Rye and Jesti, two Aurors and a magic consultant.
After introductions, Ron announced, "In case anyone here have any doubts, let us run through what we are about to do here again. We are to investigate a magic anomaly detected in this manor—" At which he unfurled a map and laid it on the table above the stacks, where with a tap of wand projected an image of an old, almost ruin-like manor surrounded by a dense forest, " — which was confirmed to be guarded by several dark wizards after our most recent surveillance. Most importantly, we also found signs of the Preacher hiding here."
Rye asked, "Preacher? Is he that rouge wizard that Team D from the Investigation Department was tracking?"
Harry confirmed by saying, "Yes, he is the one that had been giving speeches about parallel universes and and how the world would end, blah blah blah. That man."
"This magic anomaly might be rift in space time, similar to the Veil in the Unspeakable Archives," Ron supplied, "that is why we have out friend here —" at which Jesti raised his hand "— our Magic Consultant from the Unspeakables here. As you all know, having a Rift present on Earth without being accounted for is extremely dangerous, therefore we are sent to investigate, and if necessary, destroy it. I hope you all understand how serious this matter is.
"Now back to the point," Ron said, shifting his focus back on the map, "We will be breaking into this Manor at midnight, about half an hour later. Samantha will create a temporal hole in the ward, at which the rest of us will slip in, hopefully undetected. She will stay outside as out contact and backup with the plan went backwards. We will enter via the back, through the cellar. If you meet anyone in there, feel free to use stunners on them, take them out quietly. Sean and Maggie will clear the top floors, while everyone else will follow Harry to underground. If the Preacher was discovered, the two teams will exchange instead, clear? Harry here will deal with him. None of you will attempt to capture him"
Harry completed the rest of the preview for him, "Protect Jesti at all cost. Sean and Rye will be the sniffers this time, look out for traps and alert us when you do. Your partners should be good enough to disarm the curses, or traps. Beware of magic as much as muggle weaponry. Do not underestimate the detections of muggle technology. Always stay under a notice-me-not charm, a Disillusionment Charm and always cast a Stasis charm before entering any room. These are must in countering bullets and rays."
Ron muttered, "Constant Vigilance indeed."
Harry continued on, "We've practiced this before. You should all know what to do. If you come across anything that you do not know how to deal with, leave and alert the rest of us immediately. Remember, stun when you can, but be prepared to use lethal forces when necessary. This is not a school ground brawl."
The team nodded quietly, bobbing their heads up and down like children in a classroom. Harry internally sighed to himself at the way the younger aurors look at him in near reverence. It seemed like his reputation as the Sentinel preceded him again. He had no idea who came up with that name and thought that it would be a good idea. Harry wasn't surprised by it though. The wizarding folks have a talent for making up strange names and the worst acronyms that ever existed.
Harry nodded at Ron, who clapped his hands, "Good, we are good to go then."
Ron waved his wand at the table once. The maps flew off the table and rolled up into neat stacks of scrolls, the quills and ink tidied themselves and settled into the corner of the room along with the table. After this was done, Ron grabbed a card from within his coat and pulled it out. He said out loud, "Alright everyone, grab hold of the card."
When he confirmed that everyone was indeed holding onto the edge of the paper, he said out loud in a dramatic manner, "Portus!"
Harry could honestly say that he landed with far more grace then he did in his youth, padding softly onto the grass while almost everyone else stumbled.
Even though they landed heavily, their enchanted boots made no sound as it made contact with the leaves and grass. He checked that everyone in the team was well and ready, before signalling that they can leave with a hand sign.
At once, they all casted the pre-required secrecy charms on themselves. Disillusionment Charms, Silencing Charms, Signature Cloak are some of the charms they used. Their Auror cloaks allowed the charms to take hold for far longer then it normally does, allowing the Aurors to function in the field without worrying about replenishing their defences.
Once by one, they left on foot, jogging silently through the night. The clouds were thick in clumps, but yet there are vast spaces in between where the moonlight shone down, casting a silvery glow up the dark green leaves and grass. A small cool breeze blew through the forest, the leaves rustling as if there are fairies laughing in the wind. Not that it was not possible. Those tiny little buggers are literally everywhere.
Before he knew it, in less then ten minutes they had arrived onto the edge of the forest, where the manor was located in the middle of clearing. This manor was enchanted to be Unplottable, therefore never officially existed before its recent discovery. Through his glasses, Harry can see the magical bubble, the ward surrounding the property like a giant dome.
In the middle of the clearing was the manor. It was a three storied building made of stone and wood, built in the style of old victorian manors. There were three spiky towers, two collapsed with one that looked like it was barely standing, the vines and moss threatening to drag it down. Its windows were old and shattered, about only half of them intact. Pieces of the wall were missing, pieces of rubble littering here and there like children's toys.
As with his glasses, he can see the opaque forms of his colleagues even though they are Disillusioned. Not that he needed his glasses for that anyway. All Aurors have their badges linked to others with magic so that they can recognise each other. To prevent breach of security, as soon as the badge leaves the Auror, it will instantly burn up into flakes of dust and fly away with the wind. This way, no one can take advantage of the system.
Samantha waved her wand in a complicated pattern at the Ward Stone, which Harry can see due to its magical signature and half buried underground, disguised as a large rock. An invisible hole appeared in the invisible ward, rippling as the surface of the lake, held apart by magic. Samantha whispered, "Go!"
The team rushed through the opening, sprinting silently through the wavering grass like wolves on the hunt. As they are inside the ward now, they can clearly see for themselves that this manor was not as abandoned as it first seemed.
There were candle lights shining from within the building. With his glasses, Harry can clearly see that there are several nervous wizards and witches standing guard, their wands at the ready with Lumos. It shows just how inexperienced these witches and wizards are. Bright light at close range does not help night vision at all, instead it prevents the defender from seeing far into the dark, further more it compromise their location to anyone that might be interested.
Which, Harry though to himself, I cannot complain about. It means I've done a great job so that there are no veteran offenders anymore, no experienced dark wizards wandering about on the streets.
By now, the Aurors were huddled up by the Manor's wall, the flower bushes hiding their forms, wands at the ready.
Beyond the wall, Harry could here the sentry wizards chattering about, "Did you hear about the... bloody nut job he is..."
The team shuffled all the way to the back of the house, preferably where the cellar would be. Harry tapped on the wall, whispered, "Ostiuma Patetus!"
With an almost inaudible groan, the red clay bricks unfurled themselves, not unlike a budding flower. The bricks overlapped each other, wriggling their way out like so many rodents. Amidst the moving bricks, a wooden plank suddenly popped out, filling in the space where the wall had vacated. In seconds, a complete wooden door now stood where the bricks once were, as if it had belonged there all the time.
Harry grasped the brass handle and pushed.
The door opened quietly into a dark room, the silver ray of moonlight shining on the tiles. Tentatively, Harry walked in, checking for residues of magic with his glasses.
The room was dark and musty, shelves lined the walls where bottles would be. Barrels upon barrels stood in the corner, each labeled in illegible writing. Harry supposed that this manor was once owned by a muggle in ages past before the occupational wizard moved in, since it was clear that the wine cellar was almost never used or cared for. The wood had long been rotted down, the smell of fermented wine, now vinegar filled the air, almost causing Harry to choke on its fumes.
Followed by his team, Harry casted a small area of Muffliato, where the Aurors moved in. Ron closed the door behind him and casted lumos, so that a small sphere of light can allow them to see each other.
Harry made a circling pattern at other door, the one that lead in doors into the building, whispering, "Speculus!"
The door rippled as its surface in the middle turned mirror like, reflecting the light from the Lumos. The Aurors watched as Harry reached into a pocket and withdrew a small, eyeball like thing. He laid the ball onto the ground and tapped it twice with his wand.
Suddenly, tiny, hair-fine legs popped out from the bottom. The creature stood up and started prancing around, controlled by its activator's will. At the same time, the mirror like thing on the door changed its reflection, showing the mirror itself, and the mirror itself, and the mirror itself in the mirror in a never ending pattern.
The younger Aurors suddenly realised that they are now looking out from the small eyeball like creature's perspective, meaning that the creature is now connected to the Speculus charm.
Harry said the Aurors while gesturing to the small creature, "This, is an Oculate. You will have access to these things once you reach Auror level rank four. I believe I do not have to explain why. These buggers can be abused too easily."
The Oculate was an invention that popped up in the last ten years. Someone had taken the old Expendable Ears of Weasley Wizard's Wheeze, tinkered with the charms in it, plucked an eyeball from a toad and somehow created this spindly abomination. For a few weeks that it was revealed (caught, to be precise), it caused quite a large scandal as many rather revealing recordings of young witches started playing on the streets in Diagon Alley.
It took quite a while to find the mastermind behind this mess (of which, predictably was a small group of brilliant and fairly frustrated teens). After a public apologies, the Oculate was confiscated by the Aurors. What did surprised Harry though, was the Ministries' decision to employ these little gadgets as part of the Auror equipment.
He turned his attention back to the Oculate, and command it to crawl under the door and out the other side.
The mirror showed what the Oculate sees to the Aurors. Just beyond this door was a dark living room. Several candles were lit and two muggle thugs were sitting facing each other, both eating while the other arm cradle an automatic rifle. The red marks around their Iris and the dazed way they looked showed clear signs of the Imperious curse and that it was repeatedly casted.. Harry was secretly glad that they had caught the evidence with out having to resort to violence. Since now they have proof that an Unforgivable was casted, the Auror team had full permission to take out the targets.
Harry whispered to his man, "I will take care of those two when I phase through the door."
The Oculate tip-tapped across the floor stealthy, the view from the mirror bobbed up and down it climbed up a set of wooden stairs. The visible view would be terrible to most human eyes as the lighting was next to nonexistence, but to the Occulate's enhanced vision (after all, its entire purpose was for spying and looking) it might as well be as bright as day. Through its lenses, magical wards and traps shone in a myriad of colours. Violent magic glinted in red, charms in blue, while wards hazed in green.
The house itself was dark, barely cared for. It was apparent that its current occupant care not for its maintenance or state. Mould devoured the wooden floors, moss grew on the brick walls where the wallpapers were corroded by water, which seeped down from the ceiling. On the second floor was a rather long corridor, a door on either side and one on the end, where a witch stood guard with a drooping expression. Steam drifted from her ears, a tail-tale sign of the use of the Pepper-up Potion. Her face was veiled by a hat, but the metallic glint of a pair of Spectacles were unmistakable.
A pair of Spectacles was first released into the public by a certain Luna Lovegood almost thirty years ago, when they were all just in their twenties. Noting that the spelling of the name was exactly the same as normal pair of glasses, Luna had refused to change its name based on the excuse of having no other better names to describe it.
This pair of almost ordinary looking glasses grant witches and wizards the ability to see magical auras, which all but a lucky few can. In fact, when Luna first recognised that what she can see was indeed the illusive "aura", Ron had indelicately said, "bollocks."
Through these glasses, one can see little wisps of coloured smoke off magical items, the glow from someone's soul. These glasses instantly went famous when they were shown to have the ability to pass by most invisibility cloaks, as Luna had demonstrated by nailing a cloaked Harry with a stunner in a test. Of course, the cloak that Harry had been using is just another one supplied by the Aurors department. His own personal Cloak of Death had long disappeared into the Amulet he now wore every day.
Of course, once again this item can be misused easily, so that all applicants was sign a magical form and legal apply for these glasses. Most Aurors on guard duty have access to a pair so that none may sneak up on them, and are trained to recognise the auras to know the passerby's intention. In fact, Harry's own glasses was a pair of Spectacles, albeit a lot more refined to what most can access to, since this particular pair was personally designed by Luna herself with the aid of Hermione. It had many other helpful functions such as night vision, telescopic vision and even the ability to shrink into a pair of contact lenses. Harry would prefer not to do so though, for it hurts very much when a swiss-army-knife on your face implode inward onto your eyeballs.
So far, the ability to create the Spectacles remain confided with Luna. Harry was sure that the Department of Mysteries were having a field day trying to figure out what makes this thing tick. After a total of thirty years, the pioneers and researchers of the wizarding world remained clueless and baffled. Luna herself had said to Harry when she brought this gift to him, "Magic is a marvel, its not for war." After making a total of thirty pairs of lesser Spectacles, Luna had then frankly refused to construct any more of these glasses.
The counter to the Spectacles?
Fake auras. Difficult, but not impossible.
The most definite proof of it so was the invention of the Oculate, which projects the aura of a harmless critter. The aura project available to the Oculate was what made it so difficult to locate in the few weeks of the Oculate Scandal, as the Aurors have often overlooked these auras in search for something more definite, more conspicuous. After the design was confiscated, the Auror Department saw fit to equip three Auror-owned Oculate with its own Spectacle lens, the same amount that Luna had provided. True enough, in a few months, the deployment of the Oculate had netted them a total score of a twenty two dark magical dealings.
True enough, as the Oculate scampered across the floor, the witch at the end of the hall didn't even blinked, the Oculate blending in with the countless spiders and rats that undoubtedly infest this building.
The Oculate crawled behind a wall through a small hole made by rats, the lens not affected by the darkness at all. A small family of rats huddled around in the small confinement, looking curiously at the intruder. A small spark discharge sent them scurrying off with singed furs, where they continued to stare albeit at a safer distance and much warier.
Voices echoed up from beyond as the Oculate followed the corridor. By now they should have passed by where the witch was standing guard. Unfortunately, the listening potential of the Oculate was rather limited. The maximum hearing range was only about seven meters, and despite the work of the Unspeakables, they can not manage to inscribe more runes on the tiny eyeball-like creature to enhance its listening skill, especially with its lack of ears.
Despite that, the male voice that reverberated through the thin wall was clear. "Master Ludwig! The gate is still unstable. We cannot —"
A scratchy voiced replied angrily, "We must! The Aurors are closing in — and time is short. If we do not do it today, we will be doomed."
"But Master... The calculations! They are incomplete — We can't guarantee —"
The scratchy voice snapped, "No, it can not wait any longer. If we do not attempt the journey now, there would never be another chance. Either the collision or the Aurors would get us first. We will activate the gate tonight."
There was a moment of silence. After a while, the other voice replied, resigned, "Yes, master. It will be done."
Harry had heard enough. He turned to his team, who gazed back at him with trepidation. Ron shrugged his shoulders. Harry cleared his throat and said, "We will start the mission now," Harry looked at each and every single one of his team, "You lot remember what your role is?"
Another wave of nods responded.
Harry smiled grimly. He nodded back at his team. Slowly, he creaked opened the door, a pre-casted silencing charm making the otherwise creaking door silent. Through the gap, he saw that both Muggles were still oblivious to the approaching danger. Harry took a deep breath and carefully aimed his wand.
The Wizarding World had a Policy where Muggles that had been forcefully enthralled into servitude should be Obliviated, purified of magic and released back into the Muggle society. This is fortunate for those two that Harry had stunned, for they will wake up back to their families, if they had any.
The witch that one stood guard above had been less fortunate, though. Her brains now stained the door she valiantly protected, the headless stump of her neck gushing out boiling blood, the body slumping against the wall with an air of finality. Harry decided that this woman could not have been more then twenty five in age. He had never seen her before, or that she was an enemy who attempted to cast Bombarda on him, but somehow inexplicably he felt sorry for this unknown witch.
The amulet grew warm and faded as another life had been lost. Harry watched as the aura from the woman faded away, her life-force seeping away into the great nothingness. Despite all these years he had fought, taking a life was still uneasy to him. He supposed that it was a good thing that he kept his empathy for others. He couldn't imagine what would happen to the world if the man with the Hallows were to be a monster.
Focusing once again, he pushed opened the un-warded wooden door. He strode in, wand out and leading.
"I had been expecting Aurors to come visit. Never expected to be you, Harry Potter, to personally visit this poor old man.", a scratchy voice said, "what a surprise."
A balding man in a sharp purple suit sat behind a large mahogany office table, his arms crossed. Unknown schematics litter the table, carving tools left on the floor, papers nailed to the walls with rows upon rows of words written. Another small brown-haired wizard huddled fearfully behind a smaller table, whimpering in fear.
"How unfortunate for you. I had planned to retire soon too, right after taking care of you." Harry replied, his wand pointing at the man , "So, any last words, any thing to say about your plans? You can take this as a reprieve from one poor old man to another, or not, I don't care."
"If you kill me, all of us will die," The Prophet said nonchalantly, "If you let me continue, most of us will die, but some of us might, with a dash of luck, live."
Harry raised an eyebrow, "How cliché."
The prophet took a deep breath, "seeing that you haven't stunned me yet, I assume that you are willing to listen?"
"I am not going to babble with word here. This simplest version of what I had researched on, is very simple. The world is about to end, and I have the key of human survival."
Harry stayed silent, simply continued to stare at the man.
The Prophet said, his voice starting to crack in agitation, "In less than a week's time, there will be a solar flare of unimaginable power. The Muggles can't do jack shit about this one — This is the day where the sun will scorch the earth, wiping all of us out. Not even us, wizards, can hope to survive this one. The only way to survive, is that we must leave this world. However, only a hand full of wizards, magical creatures of... sufficient power can survive, the rest must be sacrificed—"
Harry snapped, "Did you sincerely expected me to believe anything that you said?"
The Prophet stayed silent for a moment.
After a while, he replied, "No... But it doesn't MATTER! I AM NOT DYING HERE WITH YOU!" He whipped out a wand from his trousers, "Avada Kedavra!"
Harry was forced to duck under the green curse that just whizzed over his head. He boarded back, "Stupefy!"
The Prophet deflected the charm onto the desk, sending the stacks of paper flying. He retaliated, "Reducto!"
Harry blocked the incoming hex, his shield absorbing the harmful magic. He blasted the table with an Expulso, sending the furniture flying into the Prophet. Unable to jump out of the way, the Prophet was knocked into the window behind him, the table breaking several of his ribs as he hit the windowsill. With a swift "Expelliarmus!", the wand was ripped from his fingers into the Harry's waiting hand.
As the papers that was sent flying into the air settled, silence filled the room again with all but the sound of breathing. Within seconds, the duel had concluded, and such is a wizard's duel. Harry lowered his wand, "You've lost now. You will be brought back to the Ministry for further investigation..."
"I've lost?" The Prophet croaked, coughing up blood with a smile. He struggled under the weight of the table, his breathing laboured, "I didn't. You did..."
A mysterious chilled settled in Harry's chest. He frowned, feeling uneasy...
Suddenly, he whisked around, wand raised.
The other wizard, the one that Harry had dismissed earlier, held a dark dagger within his hands, numbers runes inscribed all over it. Before Harry could react, he plunged the blade straight into his own chest, impaling himself.
As as soon the blood started spilling, a magical shockwave almost knocked Harry off his feet. Through his glasses, he could see a an explosion of darkness. Purple lines spiral out of the dagger, the blood that gushed out of the wound twisted into glyphs that shine, circling around the man. The air grew heavy, the ground started shaking, wind started whirling towards the dagger. The man, drawn by some unseen magic or the wind was lifted into the air, floating and spinning.
Harry covered his eyes, he screamed at the man, "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!"
The man didn't reply. Instead, he looked back blankly at Harry, as if completely oblivious to the chaos flying about him or the handle the protruded from his chest. Harry then noticed the mans eyes. Bloodshot. Deformed iris.
The man had been imperialised.
The Prophet, still lying under the table, started laughing, "What have we done? We saved the wizard kind! With all the fame and power that you have, yet you came too late."
Harry banished the table. He grabbed the Prophet by the collars of his suit, "Stop this—"
"Stop?" The Prophet giggled in dementia, "Oh no, what started now cannot be stopped! You are too late to do ANYTHING!"
Harry drew his fist back, and in a flash delivered a devastating punch the Prophet's stomach. The man wretched up blood, the crimson pouring out and yet he still laughs, "Oh, kill me then! The world will remember me as a saviour!"
Harry drew his wand, his anger and his desperation fuelling his magic, "Crucio!"
The Prophet convulsed, laughing and screaming, clawing at the ground and the eyes bulging out. Harry screamed at him, "TELL ME! WHAT. DID. YOU. DO?" He brought his wand down, once, twice and thrice he did.
He would not stop laughing. It was now a gale within the room. Papers started flying like a wooden cyclone. The mouldy old floor start ripping up, the windows shattered in the wind. Harry shielded himself with a Protego, the glass and nails bouncing off an invisible surface. The Prophet was not lucky. A broken pipe brought into the air whipped onto the man's head, the metal breaking his skull soundly smack. Like a puppet with its string's cut, the man's head rolled back and collapsed.
Harry gritted his teeth. His eyes searched around the room for anything — anything at all that can help —
Harry strode towards the hovering man, the wind and darkness blasting out like a wind tunnel. It ripped at his coat, the fabric billowing. He struggled through the force but something was pushing him back, the ground shaking off his attempts to advance.
Frustrated, he raised his wand and roared, "Accio!"
The blade quivered in the body, its rune's glowing and pulsed but it would not dislodge. Harry poured more and more of his magical reserves into the spell. His wand started warming up, glowing and burning —
With a sickening rip, the blade tore out of the wizard's chest. The retrieving spell had finally over powered protective charms on the dagger. The wizard, now unsuspended by the power of the sacrifice, slumped onto the floor in a heap.
With agility that surprised even himself, he caught the blade mid flight. The blade was cold and warm at the same time, dark light billowing out like smoke and mists. The blade took on a red hue — Harry had somehow broken the ritual — but yet the storm continues.
A sudden urge took Harry, and in that instant he knew what he had to do. The ritual must not be stopped! The blade needs more —
Harry fought the urge. These thought are not his.
Hs teeth gritted, his knuckles crunched.
Before he knew, he felt a searing pain in his own chest. With a gasp, he found himself with hands on the pommel, the blade buried in between his crimson robes. It was like fire, burning through his veins. He felt his own body tearing itself apart as the blade sunk deeper and deeper into his body, the magic churning his flesh in arcs and ripples. His hands refuses his commands, clawing feebly at the grip.
His legs failed him and he fell to his knees. He tasted something metallic in his throat, his heart rampantly pumping. His vision started to blur and his thoughts started to unravel. A coldness gripped his limbs, a weakness unlike any other filled him.
For the second time in his life, he knew that he is dying.
He coughed out, wrecking pain shook his body. A massive blood splatter appeared on the floor, a fine red mist spraying.
He collapsed onto the floor in the fatal position. He could see that the magic swirling around him. The dark tendrils interlacing with the ribbons of silver, weaving into a dance of language of some kind.
His strength left him.
Then suddenly, he felt a force, something that detonated. He felt the ground disappear. He felt the world disappear.
A whiteness burned away everything. The floor burned away and the pipings showed. The picture frames ripping apart, the paper, the wood, the frames and now the wall. The fallen wizards on his side had their flesh stripped away, tearing apart, exposing the skulls and organs. Eventually, in what felt like seconds, they were devoured too.
He falling. Falling into a void.
He could hear distant screaming...
Harry had never been the best at chess. It was only under Ron's persevering tutorship despite his talentlessness that he hadn't gave up on it yet. Ron had smiled one day, after another glorious trampling of Harry's army, "You know, you are already better than most people." He picked up Harry's decapitated King, "However, sometimes you just need to let others to sacrifice. You can't always be the one that take the hit..."
"...knowledge is always important," Hermione argued, "knowledge is like a map, and you need it to navigate through life — especially if you are magical and nothing makes sense — Harry, get a grip. Find what is important in your life and what is not."
Ginny snorted as she threw the quaffle cushion back at him, "You might want to stop with your hero complex. The world will not burn if you are not there. However, —" she reached over and kissed Harry on the cheek despite his protest, "People do like being damsels in distresses. Its a strange thing..."
Luna had always been butterfly-like. Whispery and whimsical, unruffled by anything in the world. However, sometimes she would turn extraordinarily serious and says ominous things, "One day, you might find yourself cut off from us — don't be scared. It might just be the world's way to tell you to move on..."
Harry laughs, his small chubby hands gripping onto the toy broomstick as it raced around the house. Lily scolded, "James! What did I tell you? That 'toy' is dangerous!" The man laughed back, "Well, isn't everything? At least he is happy while doing it. Hey, maybe even later he would be a Hogwarts Seeker..."
Snape's eyes burned into his, anger pouring out. He spat, "What kind of effort is this? If you slack off in your practice you would never be able to keep the Dark Lord out of your mind!" Harry was glaring back, unwilling to give an inch. However, for some reason, for a moment Harry seemed to have seen an unfathomable sadness in his eyes, if ever only for a second.
"Do you not grow tired?" Draco laughs, "years and years we spent trying to hex each other into the ground?" He raised a whisky glass into the air, "Heres to the most miraculous friend ship the world will ever see." Harry toasted back, and the glasses clinked.
"There is no good and evil. There is only power, and those two weak to seek it." Tom hissed, paused, and continued in a more normal tone, "And it seems that power finds you, Potter. Not that it matters."
"Trust me, Harry, I know the difference between you and James, do not presume me to be so mad yet," Sirius said solemnly, and, "I spent fourteen years with despair and I would never break my promise to you and your friends. Until the moment of my last breath, I will always strive to help you. Do not forget this, Harry,"
Neville cradled the blade in his arms, wiping the blood from his brows, "Ever wonder why a witch or wizard would ever want to use something so clunky in the first place?" He held the sword high up in the air, the daylight reflecting off the rubies and goblin steel, "I would presume that they are showing it off or compensating for something, but now, it seemed more and more like a symbol — that we are just as mortal as any other..."
Peter gasped and coughed as he slowly choked himself to death, the silver arm that was once a reward being the instrument of his death. Harry could do nothing to help him as the man wither away. He supposed that he should be angry, angry at the man that betrayed his parents, the man that in cowardice resurrected Tom Riddle. He could feel nothing but pity. Pity and a feeling of resignation.
And abruptly, after an eternity, he woke up.
So, here goes the first chapter! What do you people think? Since this story is cross-fanfic, I am sure that you understand the direction this goes. However, I guarantee that this would not start like other traditional "elfling" Harry.
Any way, second chapter might be weeks later. So stay tuned and add it to your alert list!